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I'm original owner of a 2009 GXP with about 21,000 miles. I'm getting occasional flash on low coolant light (I have a very steep driveway). I checked the surge tank and found it was about a half inch low which is annoying because I recently had it in to the dealer I purchased the car from for the air bag seat sensor recall and asked them to check her over and recommend any other maintenance needed (I specifically asked for oil/lube since it was down to about 20% anyway).... So I started doing some research on maintenance based on age versus strictly miles and found coolant should be changed every 5 years regardless of miles. So then I looked up characteristics of bad coolant and for DexCool, it's when it turns from clear orange to rusty red. Mine's clear reddish (in the surge tank anyway). So now I'm really annoyed with the dealer's service department - again. The service manager hasn't returned my calls. I'll get this fixed but my question is what else do I need to be concerned about. I'm guessing brake fluid needs to be looked at/changed.... How about transmission fluid, differential etc.? I'm in a hot, hilly part of the country, but the car is garaged most of the time. I proactively changed the factory battery only last year! Please comment, thanks!
 

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if you still have OEM tires, then you need to buy new tires too.

I agree that all fluids need to be changed if you have not already done so...
 

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What they said and check around the passenger side of the engine to see if there is any coolant "residue" on the outside of the engine. If your coolant was a half inch low it had to have gone somewhere - it's not likely it just evaporated. You might have a water pump seal starting to leak.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I have changed all my fluids on a regular bases. I would keep a very close eye on your coolant. I remember on one of the runs at NASSAM 2018 my coolant light came on going down hill in a corner & then went off.
 

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like easyryderca said, sometimes in a hard left or right turn you may get a low coolant warning briefly, even if the reservoir is full. As for the color of the dexcool, it does appear to be a little more reddish in the reservoir for some reason. Personally, I wouldn't trust a dealership to change the coolant. That job is a nightmare at best, requiring a lot of temp watching, hose squeezing, and cursing. Lots of info on the forum about how to successfully change the coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm original owner of a 2009 GXP with about 21,000 miles. I'm getting occasional flash on low coolant light (I have a very steep driveway). I checked the surge tank and found it was about a half inch low which is annoying because I recently had it in to the dealer I purchased the car from for the air bag seat sensor recall and asked them to check her over and recommend any other maintenance needed (I specifically asked for oil/lube since it was down to about 20% anyway).... So I started doing some research on maintenance based on age versus strictly miles and found coolant should be changed every 5 years regardless of miles. So then I looked up characteristics of bad coolant and for DexCool, it's when it turns from clear orange to rusty red. Mine's clear reddish (in the surge tank anyway). So now I'm really annoyed with the dealer's service department - again. The service manager hasn't returned my calls. I'll get this fixed but my question is what else do I need to be concerned about. I'm guessing brake fluid needs to be looked at/changed.... How about transmission fluid, differential etc.? I'm in a hot, hilly part of the country, but the car is garaged most of the time. I proactively changed the factory battery only last year! Please comment, thanks!
Thanks for the comments!
I've subsequently talked with several shops around town and am frankly amazed no one seems to have more definitive information (specific time frames as well as mileage) in this regard....! I've made an appointment to of course get a coolant flush, as well as brake and transmission fluid service. I'll probably get power steering and differential fluids done when I do next oil change. No one I've talked with thought it alarming that these had not been done with these low miles, even the coolant! I don't want to do silly/unnecessary maintenance, but this seems like a blind spot with service guys?
In follow up discussion with the dealer they agree they dropped the ball on this, especially considering I specifically asked.
As an fyi, per service dept recommendations, I did have fuel system serviced as well as having the coolant system bulletin (check valves) applied around 5 years ago. The oil has been changed 5 times (way ahead of the required interval).
 

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Have I been lucky? I have never had the fluids (except oil changes) flushed in any of my vehicles (non Solstice) and all of them were at least +90K miles with no "fluid" issues. Is it being anal to change these fluids as recommended in the above posts or just good preventative maintenance for something that "may" happen?

Not trying to flame anyone, just curios if anyone has experience any issues with "old" fluids?
 

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Have I been lucky? I have never had the fluids (except oil changes) flushed in any of my vehicles (non Solstice) and all of them were at least +90K miles with no "fluid" issues. Is it being anal to change these fluids as recommended in the above posts or just good preventative maintenance for something that "may" happen?

Not trying to flame anyone, just curios if anyone has experience any issues with "old" fluids?
No "flame" taken and you're completely justified in your response. Many people don't follow recommended fluid change intervals and have few problems. In spite of what people who have had issues when they don't follow recommended service procedures and bitch about poor engineering, the fact is there is a lot of "safety factors" figured in when a car maker designs builds, and warrants a car. Would be bad business not to.

You may have heard that the Solstice was considered by some to be a "parts bin" car, which is BS. All carmakers use existing parts to the best of their abilities in developing new cars. It's not cost effective to build a new "everything" for every new car they develop.

However, the Solstice did a lot of things that weren't being done at the time. They took a transverse mounted engine and mounted it longitudinally so they could mate it with a standard transmission in a very short wheel based car that was a convertible . . etc etc. Add to that the fact that their production volumes were low (less opportunity to optimizing the build process and quality) and it's a car that many don't rack up a lot of miles on? Kind of a unique set of circumstances.

It makes it hare to nail down the causes of some of the problems, but factoring all of the above (and more) makes for some distinct probabilities. The waterpump is now located where it was never originally intended to be under the hood. Perhaps heat patterns make it susceptible to the seal leaking? Perhaps not changing the coolant frequently enough makes the seal more prone to failure especially due to the different heat patterns?

There are thousands of possible interactions and it all comes down to your comfort level and what you'd care to invest in. This is a somewhat unique vehicle that has been built in a way uncommon to it's core components. Is it wise to make the additional investment to be more persistent on it's maintenance? In my opinion, yes. In the case of my SUV that I drive daily? I maintain it as close to regularly schedule items as possible - but I'm getting rid of it about 5 years after I bought it.

I don't see the Solstice departing my garage for a long time.
 

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Thanks, I would never complain about poor engineering if I had neglected to follow factory recommendations. My pessimism just comes from past experience (luck possibly, possibly ignorance). The following GM vehicles have been good to me with no fluid changes (except oil) and no fluid "top offs" (yes I checked the levels :) ) 1994 Cavalier, 100K+miles, body rusted off, 2000 Cavalier 120K miles, body rusted off, 2003 GMC Envoy, 90K miles and still going, 2008 GMC Envoy, 92K miles still going, 2010 Pontiac G6, 77K miles and still going. I have a 68 Buick GS that I have flushed the brake fluid and changed the anti freeze but that is a different animal all together.
(y)

I will follow these type of threads closely since I would like my GXP (parts bin car...LOL) to remain trouble free as long as possible, it currently has 28K miles. The potential water pump failure concerns me and if changing the antifreeze will delay that failure I would gladly have it changed.

sorry for the thread drift...:eek:
 
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